“Fredericton al fresco” partnership launched to help local restaurants

City will also offer program support to food trucks, artists and musicians

In support of local restaurants affected by COVID-19, the City of Fredericton is launching a partnership with Downtown Fredericton and Business Fredericton North called “Fredericton al fresco”.

The initiative will see almost 60 bistro-style and picnic tables set up in public spaces, on the south side and north side of the city, for use by residents as an extension of available seating at sidewalk cafés and outdoor patios affected by physical distancing.

As a result of the cancellation of summer festivals and events due to COVID-19, the City will also be allowing some local food trucks to set up in parking lots serving Odell and Killarney Lake parks. 

In addition, the City will commission an artist and hire local musicians to offer cultural initiatives in support of the Fredericton al fresco initiative. This will include a temporary public art installation, as well as light musical entertainment. 

Start times for each program will vary, but the focus will be from June until the start of September. This is all part of the City’s #SupportFredLocal initiative to support local businesses and the community during COVID-19. Details follow.

Outdoor Tables

As part of the “Fredericton al fresco” effort, tables will be set up in the following locations: 

  • Phoenix Square - 18 bistro-style tables,
  • Barracks Square - 21 picnic tables, and
  • the Nashwaaksis Commons - 18 picnic tables.

Residents will be able to carry their take-out food to these tables. Since each table has a number, they will also be able to order and have food delivered directly to the tables by participating restaurants. Table use will be restricted to people in your bubble.

The tables will not be licensed for the consumption of alcohol. Staff will be on hand to sanitize and monitor the tables. Since the areas being used are large, all physical distancing measures can be observed.

The program will run from early June to early September. Hours will vary from 11 am to 8 pm, seven days a week, weather permitting. 

Food Trucks

Recognizing that residents will be out in public spaces more than ever this summer, enjoying family time and practicing safe physical distancing, the City will add to that experience by allowing several food truck operators to set up in three locations around the City.

The first two locations will be the beach parking lot at Killarney Lake Park, with two trucks and the Waggoners Lane parking lot at Odell Park, with two more trucks. As the summer progresses, two food trucks will also be allowed to set up at the Prospect Street entrance to Odell Park.

Food trucks involved in the Fredericton al fresco initiative will follow all health and safety protocols; residents will be asked to observe COVID-19 physical distancing measures.

To the extent possible, participating food trucks will be operated by Frederictonians, from the established food truck list. They will be a diversity of vendors over the summer. More details about the food trucks, time of operation, etc., will be announced later.

Cultural Initiatives

And finally, in support of local artists, the City will offer cultural initiatives as part of the Fredericton al fresco effort.

Artists will be invited to submit proposals for a temporary art installation at Phoenix Square that is intended to inspire the community and convey a sense of gratitude, strength, positivity, and hope. The call for artists will begin soon, with an estimated timeline for installation the first week of July.

Musicians will be part of the al fresco mix in the downtown locations. Final details are still being developed.

In addition, the City’s popular Summer Artist in Residence program in Odell Park and the Botanic Gardens will undergo changes to feature artists working outdoors and observing COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.

Quotes

  • “Fredericton al fresco is another Support Fredericton effort that the City is pleased to be able to offer in support of local businesses affected by COVID-19,” said Coun. Bruce Grandy, Chair of the City’s Development Committee. “I really like the ideas being presented, and I can tell you that the bistro tables being used in Phoenix Square will give residents a sneak peak of the seating concept envisioned for a revitalized Officers’ Square.”
  • “Restaurants are under a lot of pressure right now, and we are glad to see more seating being added for take out and delivery services,” said Matt Savage, President of Downtown Fredericton Inc. “While this is another initiative under the citywide #SupportFredLocal umbrella, it also brings to life the idea of expanded public seating as identified in the City Centre Plan.”
  • “I am really happy to have this dining out seating option come to the northside BIA,” said Trina MacDonald, GM of Business Fredericton North. “This is the kind of urban vibrancy envisioned for this area in the Main Street Urban Design Plan. There has been a lot happening on Main Street over the past few months, but just like other areas of the city, we are feeling the impact of COVID-19 on our businesses.”